Liberal Party senators Pangilinan and De Lima challenge Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020

Liberal Party senators Pangilinan and De Lima challenge Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020




They just won’t stay silent in their places as they join other groups questioning the constitutionality of the Anti-Territorial Act of 2020.
An opposition group led by Senators Leila de Lima and Francis Panglinan of the Liberal Party have filed a petition before the Supreme Court (SC) to declare it as unconstitutional as it contravenes with the time honored and constitutionally guaranteed rights of the 1987 Constitution.


“Ostensibly meant to serve the narrow and specific state policy of fighting terrorism, the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 (hereafter, ATA) nevertheless hands to government a sledgehammer, a blunt instrument that may easily be wielded to batter down the constitutional guardrails protecting the freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of the press and the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances, and ultimately, terrorize the sovereign people into silence and servility,” read their petition.
Opposition senators Francis Pangilinan and Leila De Lima
(photo credit to owner)

Aside from de Lima, the petitioners include 1986 Constitutional Commission members Dr. Florangel Rosario-Braid and Prof. Edumundo Garcia; Rep. Kit Belmonte; former Senators Sergio Osmeña III and Wigberto “Bobby” Tañada; and former Deputy Speaker Erin Tañada and former Akbayan party-list Rep. Etta Rosales.
The petitioners also include journalists Ceres Doyo, Lilibeth Frondoso, Chay Hofileña, Rachel Khan, Jo-Ann Maglipon, John Nery, Beatrice Puente Maria Ressa, and Maritess Vitug; and former Senate secretary Lutgardo Barbo and law professor Chel Diokno.

The petition named as respondents Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, Information and Communications Technology Secretary Gregorio Honasan II, Anti-Money Laundering Council Executive Director Mel Georgie Racela, Budget and Management Secretary Wendel Avisado, the Anti-Terrorism Council, and the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA).
The petition filed calls for the issuance of the Supreme Court of a temporary restraining order (TRO) or a preliminary injunction or both while the case is pending to halt the implementation of the law.
The petition also requested the SC for oral arguments and eventually rule to have the law declared null and unconstitutional.
They also sought for the temporary protection orders against the respondents and prohibiting the respondents and their agents or representatives from implementing RA 11479.


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